Ladybug Steam Cleaner Operating Tips
General information on steam cleaners:
Steam cleaners will allow you to clean with less effort and chemicals while producing little to no mess. The best use of a vapor steam cleaner is to kill dust mites, fleas, larvae, eggs, bacteria, and germs. These areas will be sanitized, eliminating odors and chemicals, though it may take more than a single cleaning.
Please do not expect to steam clean a badly soiled carpet back to its original state. If it were really soiled, it would be best to use a professional cleaning company first and then use the steam cleaner for maintenance. The steam cleaner will then take out any of the chemicals that the professional cleaning left.
Overall, steam cleaning will remove most spots and stains, providing that there has been no chemical reaction with the fibers, and it will remove any chemicals and odors. Because the heat straightens the fibers and removes static charge, it allows for deep vacuum cleaning of sand (the major destroyer of carpets,) other solid particles, and hair.
We recommend that anyone sensitive to chemicals not use steam cleaners for the first steaming of carpeting because the chemicals will be strong after being released. However, if you don’t steam clean the carpeting, you are constantly being exposed as the chemicals are released into the air and you are often touching them.
Filling steam cleaners with water:
- Since steam cleaners are factory tested, you may find a small amount of water in them when they arrive.
- Gently remove the filler cap and slowly pour in filtered/drinking water.
- Sometimes the water will “air lock” and not fill completely, which will cause the machine to beep for more water shortly after you start. (A filled machine will steam for up to 40 minutes.)
- This frequent or early beeping usually means that the water is not easily passing through the screening in the strainer and is not completely filling the reservoir.
- Try punching a small hole at the bottom of the screening using a quick motion with a pencil or ballpoint pen. Use a quick motion as to not push the screen out of the strainer.
- If using a funnel, keep it slightly lifted so that it doesn’t form a tight seal with the opening.
Starting the steam cleaner (every time you start up):
It is normal to hear some light banging noise for a short time when you start up your machine.
- The Ladybug steam cleaner is ready for use when the green light comes on signaling that the correct pressure and temperature have been reached.
- After the green light comes on, hold the nozzle over the sink and press the trigger for a few seconds to allow the steam to burp. The pressure gauge will drop about 50% and then rise again. When the correct pressure and temperature have been reached, the green light will again go on.
- Since it takes about 1 – 2 minutes of use before the hose and machine warm up and start producing a dry vapor steam, we recommend you start with cleaning an area where a little water won’t be an issue or hold the nozzle over a sink and press the trigger for a few minutes.
- Press the red button on the hose connection and securely attach the hose to canister.
- When using either rectangular or triangular brushes, have them wrapped and ready for use so that you can quickly attach them so that the steam in the hose will not condense to water.
- The rectangular brush will move more easily if you slightly tilt the brush back on its heel when pushing, and slightly tilt it up on its toe when pulling. Remember that it is the heat from the steam cleaner boiler not the pressure that does the cleaning.
- Also, you will find it easier to push and pull the brush using an extra third extension. First clean in one direction, front and back, and then do side-to-side to get all surfaces.
If there are drips or too much moisture:
- Try to keep the trigger depressed as much as possible so that the hose doesn’t cool off.
- Try using less steam. Less is hotter and better than more. There will always be a slight water drip when there are no tools attached.
- Try turning the brush to a different angle. When cleaning cooler surfaces such as windows, expect some condensate.
If steam continues after the trigger is released:
Open the steam control wheel all the way to release the steam in the hose. If it comes out with pressure, aim the nozzle into the sink and rapidly press and release the trigger a few times to dislodge any dirt that may be clogging the valve.
If cleaning appears to stop:
Move the brush or pad away from the area you are cleaning to allow that area to cool. That surface may have become too hot and is negating the effect of the steam from your brush.
General maintenance of steam cleaners:
- ALWAYS use drinkable water, if in doubt use plain bottled water.
- NEVER add any chemicals to the water.
- Keep all parts clean.
- Whenever finished remove the hose, coil it loosely, and hang it up so that it doesn’t crimp.
- Drain the boiler inside the steam cleaner:
- It is recommended to drain the boiler on your Ladybug every two to four weeks.
- Be sure the machine is cold. It is recommended to let the unit sit overnight if you have just used it.
- Use the boiler drain removal tool to remove the drain screw and let the water drain out.
- Take care when replacing the drain screw after draining the boiler. If you are not careful you can cross thread it and, in some cases, damage the brass threads, which will result in the boiler needing to be replaced.
- Start the threads correctly so the screw turns easily with no resistance. If there is any resistance after ½ to 1 turn, it means you have cross threaded it and should not continue to tighten it. Back it off and start again. Once you have started it correctly, hand tighten it until it is thumb tight. Then do a final tightening by giving it a ¼ turn with the wrench. Take caution not to overtighten it.
Steam cleaner accessories:
Accessories included: Instructional video and manual, triangle brush with filler pad, window cleaning tool with 2 blades, large rectangular brush with filler pad, 2 extension wands, small and medium nylon brushes for tile and grout, steam nozzle, 6 toweling cloths, and a bottle of spot cleaner.
Optional steam cleaner accessories:
Tuff Kit (contains additional brushes.)
- 1 brass bristle brush for oven grating, heavily stained tile grout, etc.
- 1 small stainless steel nozzle brush
- 1 large round nylon brush
- 2 Stainless steel pads for cleaning oven insides and black iron items.
Extra Standard Nozzle/Brush Kit (separate brushes for bathroom or kitchen areas.)
- 1 black plastic steam nozzle
- 1 small 1′ black nylon nozzle brush
- 1 medium 1.5′ black nylon nozzle brush
- 1 large 2.5′ round black nylon brush
- Triangular Brush — More maneuverable than the large brush and can be used either as a bristle brush or can be wrapped with a towel. It is excellent for upholstery and corner type areas.
- Window Squeegee — For windows and showers tiles. Comes with 2 different size blades.
- Extension Wand — Gives you a longer reach than the 2 extensions that come with your machine. Makes it easier to push and pull when cleaning carpet.
- Plumber’s Helper — Unclogs sinks and drains without chemicals.
- Canvas Bag — Allows you to keep all your tools together and close at hand. Saves you from running from room to room to get the proper tool.